CONTRAIR: Antwerp’s newest creative space opens its doors


Still haven’t processed the end of Klub Goud? Reminiscing about the good times at Petrol? Then we have great news for you! Antwerp. A brand new creative space is opening up this March, right in ‘t Eilandje district. The TEGENDRAADS organization, consisting of Yves Massignani (aka Hush Hefner) and Thomas Van Praag (also co-founders of the excellent Kleinhouse Festival), have rolled up their sleeves and put in work to create a first class space with a wide variety of creative activities. So what exactly do we mean by that? Maybe it’s best we let Massignani do the talking…

Hi Yves! Seems like you managed to get a sweet location for your new project.

"Yes! CONTRAIR will set up shop in a warehouse next to the Red Star Line Museum and will give shelter to music, culture and arts in all its forms. Throughout March, we will transform this space into a bar, club, concert venue, movie theatre and much more. Additionally, we will also provide studio-space for young artists to work out their latest ideas and give them the opportunity to show their work to the public.

We’re going to be open from Wednesday to Sunday, and each day will be filled with activities. Think comedy nights, workshops, concerts, but also some club nights on the weekends. However, if you want to keep it relaxed, you're more welcome to sit back and chill out in our bar and enjoy a nice cocktail or beer. We've gathered a very motivated team of young artists that will design nearly every component of the CONTRAIR bar and club area. We’re very serious about involving young creatives."

How did the owner of the space get in touch with you guys?

"We got in touch with them! The space is owned by AG VESPA, the real estate division of the city of Antwerp. We found out the place was up for rent, so we applied."

Obviously, we’re especially interested in the music events in this space. Can you give us some scoops by any chance?

"I don't want to disclose all details yet, but there’s nothing to worry about. CONTRAIR aims to bring an interesting mix of different dance genres. However, I can already give you one scoop: the Hush Hush parties will take over every Saturday night!"

The arrival of CONTRAIR is just in time, considering other similar temporary polyvalent spaces like KERK and A-Tower are closing their doors. Did you get inspired by places like this?

"I think everyone who is working in events, whether it's strictly nightlife or more focused on arts in general, should be inspired by KERK and A-Tower: both hubs just breathe creativity and bring together a very diverse and open-minded crowd, which is exactly what Thomas and myself are aiming for at CONTRAIR."

When is the first public event and what can we expect there?

"That will be the opening on March 3, and Kleinhouse is gonna host the party. We're very happy that Fort Romeau, Shanti Celeste and Thang will be the first DJs to grace the extraordinary custom DJ-booth!"

More info on CONTRAIR available on its website and Facebook page